Foster care is a temporary living situation for children whose biological parents or primary caregivers cannot care for them or during a time of crisis. When family struggles are brought to the attention of a child welfare agency and the court system determines there is a serious safety concern, attempts are first made to place a child with a relative. Relative placement is the best option for youth and has shown to significantly reduce the amount of trauma they experience. Relative placements are intended to be temporary while the child’s parents or primary caregivers work toward reunification.
Reasons Why Children Enter Foster Care Nationwide
Child Abuse and/or Neglect
Most of the children and teens in foster care have experienced child abuse or neglect in some capacity. Each state determines how physical, sexual and emotional abuse are defined, and youth enter foster care if their experiences meet their state’s criteria. Neglect can include physical neglect, medical neglect or lack of supervision. Physical neglect includes, but is not limited to, failure to provide the child with food, clothing or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child.
A child may enter foster care when no family or friends are available to care for the child during a parent’s incarceration.
A child may enter foster care if they have been left at home for an extended period of time or have been dropped off at another residence.
How Does Kinship Care Work?
In Kansas, when a court decides that a child should not remain in the parents’ home due to safety concerns, a KVC Case Worker makes a referral for kinship placement. Following this, a Kinship Care Coordinator contacts all relatives or acquaintances and sets up interviews. The interviews take place in the potential caregiver’s home and consist of a series of questions and some paperwork to be completed. Helpful resources are then given for reference, as well as basic first-aid information.
The caregiver must then pass a background check, a home inspection and complete all the requirements given by the Kinship Coordinator.
Even if you’re not a blood relative, you can still care for a child. The goal is to provide the best care for children in foster care so they will have life-long health. Click here to learn more.
Know a Child or Teen You’d Like to Care For? We’ll Support You
If there’s a child or teen in your family who is in foster care and you’d like to care for them, KVC Kansas will provide full support to you throughout the process, including:
- Reimbursement to meet the needs of the youth
- Interaction with other licensed homes to provide respite, advice and become part of your network
- The opportunity to provide your loving home/family to other children who need it
- Monthly visits with a Family Service Coordinator
- Two free paid respite days are provided to offer you a break
- Foster parent therapist for families who might need any additional support
To learn more about this process, visit our main page on Kinship Care. If you’d like to get in touch with a team member regarding a youth in the Kansas foster care system, contact Evan Wood, Director of Kinship, at EVWood@kvc.org.